Posts Tagged ‘Juventus’
Italian champions Juventus were able to extend their lead at the top of Serie A to nine points over the weekend with a 3-1 win against rivals Internazionale at the Juventus Stadium in Turin. A goal from Swiss wide man Stephan Lichtsteiner on the quarter of an hour mark gave Juve a half time lead and they doubled their advantage just after the break when defender Giorgio Chiellini found the net. Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal sealed the victory with more than half an hour left to play before Portuguese defender Rolando notched up a consolatory strike for Inter, who are now without a win in six outings since their Derby victory against Milan back in December.
Second placed AS Roma were unable to keep up the pressure on Juventus at the top of the table due to the wet weather in the Italian capital. Their match with Parma did get under way but a heavy downpour forced it to be abandoned so Roma now have a game in hand on the other clubs around them in the table. They didn’t have to worry about anyone catching them up from behind as third placed Napoli were well beaten by Atalanta in Bergamo and fourth placed Fiorentina fell to a 1-0 defeat at Cagliari. The big movers were Verona, whose 2-1 win away at Sassuolo allowed them to jump up three places to fifth. On Monday night Sampdoria ran out winners in the Genoa derby, beating their neighbours 1-0 with a first half goal from Argentine striker Maxi Lopez.
Unbeaten Juventus regained top spot in Serie A with a 3-1 win over Catania at the Juventus Arena in Turin. Antonio Conte’s side went behind to an early strike from one of Catania’s Argentinian contingent, Pablo Cesar Barrientos, but fought back well, with the peerless Andrea Pirlo bagging an equaliser in the 22nd minute. The stalemate endured until well into the second half but the turning point was when Catania were reduced to ten men following a second caution for defender Marco Motta.
It was always going to be an uphill struggle for the visitors from then on, and Pirlo’s probing eventually reaped dividends as the maestro set up both Giorgio Chiellini and Fabio Quagliarella to secure the three points for the Old Lady. Juventus are now two points clear of Milan, having played the same number of games, but could be knocked back off their perch on Sunday afternoon as the Rossoneri visit struggling Cesena.
Reports in Italy indicate that former Chelsea forward Hernan Crespo continues to be a man in demand in Serie A. It seems as if Juventus believe he is the man to sort out their miserable current form.
Crespo, 34, has been with Genoa since the summer when he transferred to the ambitious Genovese as part of the deal that took his compatriot Diego Milito the other way to Inter Milan. However, his time in Genoa has been far from a success with 18 appearances yielding just four goals this term.
The former Agentine international, once the most expensive player in the world when he left Parma for Lazio for a then record of £35 million, is only on a short-term deal, so would be available at a relatively cheap price.
Crespo made 60 appearances during his time at Stamford Bridge scoring 22 goals in the process, including 10 in 19 league matches in his first season in the Premiership, but failed to ever settle in West London, and spent much of time away back in Italy on loan at either AC Milan or Inter Milan. His time at Chelsea continues to divide fans of the club, with many considering him an expensive flop, whilst his supporters point at his respectable goal-record.
This season Juventus have been stricken by injuries to their front line with Vincenzo Iaquinta and David Trezeguet both unavailable. Things have got so bad that under-pressure boss Ciro Ferrara resorted to trying midfielder Diego up front alongside the out of form Amauri in the weekend defeat to AC Milan.
Crespo’s agent has already expressed his client’s desire to move on at the end of his deal, so Genoa may opt to make a little profit on their want-away veteran by letting him leave now. Genoa have already thinned out their bulging attack with the departure of one-time Newcastle United target Sergio Floccari to Napoli this winter, and it would be no surprise to see Crespo also head for the departure door.